Paleo “Butter” Chicken

I don’t know about you – but I absolutely LOVE Indian food.  The combination of spices just makes my mouth water even thinking about it!  And the lovely aroma that fills the house when everything simmers on the stove….heavenly.

While I love Indian food, I don’t always love how it makes me feel.  I follow the Paleo diet fairly consistently and as such, don’t cook with dairy – which makes it difficult to make butter chicken by following all of the recipes you can find online.  After years of tweaking recipes found online and by trial and error in my own kitchen, I have come up with the best dairy free butter chicken recipe (seriously, it is the BEST).  It is flavourful, it is creamy, it is rich and the combination of the spices is delicious.

Without further ado, here is the recipe!

butter chicken

What you need:
2 tsp avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
8 boneless chicken thighs (breasts taste delicious in this recipe, too!)
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 white onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2-1 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3 cups tomato sauce
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
1 can of coconut milk (400ml)
pinch of salt and pepper
4-5 dashes of tobasco (if you like things hot!)

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
  2. While it is heating, wash and cut sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onion and prepare garlic and ginger.
  3. Place chicken thighs (or breasts) on baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with garam masala.  If using breasts, cut them in half.
  4. Cook chicken 20-25 minutes.
  5. While chicken is cooking, preheat skillet over medium high and add in avocado or olive oil.  Once hot, add onion and sauce 5-7 minutes until it softens.  Then, add garlic, ginger, curry, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne and stir until fragrant (about 30 sec).
  6. Add tomato sauce and sweet potatoes.  Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until sweet potato starts to soften.
  7. By now chicken should be done in oven.  Take it out and cut it into bite sized pieces.
  8. Pour coconut milk into skillet and nestle chicken and cauliflower in.  Cover and cook until cauliflower softens, about 7-8 minutes).
  9. Add cinnamon and tobasco and stir to mix.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. ENJOY!  This tastes delicious on it’s own or served over cauliflower rice or regular rice if you eat grains.

Please leave me a note in comments if you try the recipe and let me know what you think!

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